CSA Newsletter Week 10

newsletter with photoIn the Garden

Abundance and scarcity sometimes go hand in hand. We’ve had a lot of abundant crops this year–peas, beans, early red potatoes, chard, summer squashes, more fruit than we expected, beautiful lettuce (until recently–you may have noticed the heads are smaller, in some cases tougher, and sometimes with a touch of bitterness–the heat does that). All in all it has been a good spring and early summer, even with the rains that took out the first week’s crop of strawberries and the cabbage maggot that threatened the broccoli and collards crops.

Every year we get to learn something new about a fungal and pest problem we hadn’t encountered before–which generally compromises a crop or two.  Our two hardest hitting “pests” this year have been the flea beetle infestation in the kale and Verticillium Wilt, a fungi in the soil that is affecting our tomatoes, particularly our heirloom tomatoes. Your kale is edible, even if full of holes, though it bothers me to give you kale you’ve had to share with flea beetles. I tell myself perhaps there is some good in being reminded that flea beetles like to eat, too! But I’m more bothered by the Verticillium Wilt. Our beautiful indetermined (trellised) tomato plants are  no longer beautiful, and although they are producing tomatoes, we will have to test them week to week to be sure their quality has not been impacted. Their quantity certainly will be compromised. The determinate tomatoes are doing fine at this point, and we expect you’ll get slicing tomatoes this year. The hardest hit have been the cherry tomatoes, heirloom slicing, and most tragic to me, the Roma varieties, which are the saucing tomatoes. So a head’s up. Enjoy the tomatoes you get, and know we’ll be working to figure out how to fight Verticillium Wilt organically for next year…!

From Field to Marketmarket

Pristine Apples
Assorted lettuces
Chard & Kale
Heirloom Gold and Red Ace Beets
Broccoli florets
Butterstick & Crookneck Summer Squash
Zucchini, Eight-ball & Patty Squash
Tromboncini Italian Heirloom Summer Squash
Yellow & Burgundy Beans
Fortex Heirloom Beans
Blue Lake Pole Beans
Walla Walla Onions
Yukon Gold Potatoes
Purple & Green Cabbage
Cortland Onions
White Onions
First Cherry and Slicing Tomatoes!
First Cucumbers!
Basil & Sage

New to You

fortexWe’ve had the Fortex Heirloom Beans out for a week–these are the 8-12 inch long green beans I’ve had bundled in the Take Two/Three Shelf. They are stringless, incredibly tender, and amazing in flavor. I’ve included my favorite way to fix them here, which are blackened and sauteed with fennel. If you haven’t tried fennel yet, this would be a good way to give it a try. Though I sauté them with some oil in this recipe, they can be boiled, roasted, steamed or eaten raw.

Recipe of the Week

Since I’ve linked to my newly posted Blackened Beans & Fennel recipe, how about if we take this week to hear from you. I’d like to know what recipes you are finding in From Asparagus to Zucchini, or others you can share the link to, or ways you are using chard. One of our members asked for more ideas on chard. I braise mine in butter, along with onions and whatever other greens I have on hand (kale, collards, beet greens). I add about 1/4 c. of red wine or balsamic vinegar and salt, pepper, and some red pepper flakes.

Amanda added her chard to a soup with potatoes, sausage, broth, and hot pepper and added some half and half in at the end. What do you do with yours?

Yours for the eating adventures!




  • Lisa, while you will have a tough time finding heirloom varieties resistant to verticillium wilt, many modern tomatoes are bred to resist several strains of it. The best I have found are Celebrity and Big Beef, which also resist other fungal diseases.
    The most disease resistant cucumbers I have found are Marketmore 76 and Eureka. I have no idea how these would do in your climate, however. I have the luxury this year of having a garden started on fresh ground, so have fewer disease problems than normal. We are right in the middle of tomato and cucumber season here now. Loved the pic of your hubby with a grandchild at the zoo. Carolyn and I are still waiting to enter that blessed role.

    • Thank you, Mike. And yes, in our reading we learned of verticillium wilt resistant tomato varieties and will need to use them more in the next chunk of years until the fungi is eradicated. We also plant Marketmore 76, and a number of other varieties of cucumbers. On our side is that we tend to plant a number of varieties of nearly every crop. We probably have 10 different varieties of tomatoes, and 4 of cucumbers, and way too many winter and summer squash varieties! As an aside, Mark and I highly recommend you to the grandparent role. It has been immensely satisfying! We realize of course, that people generally have no control when the grandparent role gets bestowed upon them!

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